Tag: 1969

The Mod Top, Chrysler Corp’s 1969 Appeal to Female Buyers, Makes an Interesting Collectible Today – Bill Rothermel @Hemmings

The Mod Top, Chrysler Corp’s 1969 Appeal to Female Buyers, Makes an Interesting Collectible Today – Bill Rothermel @Hemmings

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Mad, Mod Mopar

Kim Barnes has a memory from her youth, of riding her Sears Sting-Ray-style “banana seat” bicycle past Friedman Chrysler-Plymouth in Des Moines, Iowa. There, in the showroom, was a yellow Mod Top Barracuda. About a block away was Des Moines AMC, which had a red, white, and blue Hurst SC/Rambler in the showroom. “I was obsessed with both cars, especially the yellow Barracuda,” she recalls.

Like other seven-year-olds of that time, Kim was a big fan of The Partridge Family and she collected Partridge Family trading cards. At the same time, she secretly collected trading cards of her favorite automobiles, too. “I had one of the yellow Mod Top Barracuda, as well as a blue Satellite Mod Top, in my collection,” Kim says.

One day, Kim rode by the dealership and the Mod Top Barracuda was gone. Her obsession with the unusual car continued. She certainly had no idea at the time, but a yellow Mod Top Barracuda would become part of her automotive stable nearly 50 years later.

These photos from the GM Historical Archives show us that Chevrolet was giving thought to patterned vinyl roofs for the 1967 Camaro. Note the non-factory side exhaust.

Marketing specifically to woman buyers was nothing new. Dodge toured a pair of concept cars in 1954 called Le Comte and La Comtesse —specially modified Chrysler Newports with glass roof inserts. While Le Comte was finished in “masculine” colors, La Comtesse was painted Dusty Rose and Pigeon Gray—ostensibly to appeal to women.

Response was favorable and Dodge offered the La Femme, based on the Custom Royal Lancer, as a midyear “Spring Special” in 1955. It was finished in a Heather Rose and Sapphire White exterior color combination, while the interior was upholstered in cloth featuring pink rosebuds on a silver-pink background, with pink vinyl trim. Included was a fully accessorized keystone-shaped purse, along with a matching raincoat, rain bonnet, and umbrella.

Considered a sales success, La Femme returned for the 1956 model year, this time in Misty Orchid and Regal Orchid. The interior was quite lavish, with a unique white cloth highlighted by purple and lavender, a special headliner with gold flecks, and loop pile carpeting in various shades of purple and lavender. Once again, a raincoat, rain bonnet, and umbrella were included (but no purse) for the 1956 model year. Sales numbers were never reported but it is estimated that some 2,500 cars received the $143 option over two years.

As built, Kim’s car came with the optional Floral Accented Interior, which carried the theme to seat inserts and door cards; the Barracuda Sport Package, with its three-spoke steering wheel; and the Rallye dash

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The well-planned purchase of a 1969 Mercury Cougar turned into five decades of family car memories. – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Mercury, it seemed, was in the habit of being the division that never truly fit where it was intended. Throughout much of its existence, it was perceived as either a plush Ford or a baby Lincoln, and Dearborn’s front office never really helped change the public opinion along the way. That’s not to say there weren’t a few valiant efforts during the Fifties and early Sixties. However, if there was ever a moment when Mercury stood out as intended, it was when the division announced the arrival of the Cougar for 1967.

Rather than simply giving the Mustang a facelift, Mercury designers reimagined the platform by creating a new foundation that was both longer and wider, coupled with a suspension tuned for a spirited, yet discerning buyer. Power was derived not from a six-cylinder, but rather a 200-hp 289-cu.in. V-8 issued as standard equipment. Stylists crafted a body tinged with European influences, with elegant, narrow wrap-around front and rear bumpers, finely contoured flanks, and larger sail panels emphasizing its coupe style. Cougar also got hidden headlamps and broad taillamps (with sequential turn signals) that reflected the design of the front end. Interiors were outfitted with vinyl bucket seats, plush carpeting, and a three-spoke “sport style” steering wheel. In effect, the Cougar was a harmonious blend of Thunderbird’s personal luxury accoutrements with Mustang’s agility and adaptable performance

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As one of several new “pony cars” to emerge on the market at that time, the Cougar was a resounding success in its first year, attracting 123,672 buyers. If that weren’t enough, 27,221 more sprung for the mid-year release of the modestly fancier Cougar XR-7. Among those 150,800-plus buyers was Brooks Baldwin, then a recent college graduate who was living with her three girlfriends in Indianapolis, Indiana.“As we were graduating, the other girls purchased Mustangs. However, my father, Tom, was a salesman at C.R. Barkman Lincoln-Mercury, which was in nearby Rochester, so naturally I ended up buying a new Cougar instead. It was painted Lime Frost and had a black vinyl top, with a black interior, and my boyfriend Bill Thompson and I enjoyed driving around the area. It was also a perfect car for my commute,” Brooks remembers.

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Will it run? Starting up a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for the first time in 30 years @Hagerty

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Last week you saw us pull this 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 out of a pole barn it had been sitting in for nearly 30 years. Unfortunately, she didn’t start up on the first attempt, but that didn’t deter Davin as he set to work gathering a few parts to get her back up and running. So, join us as we get a little greasy and hopefully hear this classic roar again. Be sure to check out part 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB4zE…

Here’s What Everyone Forgot About The 1969 ZL1 Camaro – Dennis Kariuki @HotCars

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Chevrolet brought back the Camaro  ZL1 in 2012, there’s even a 2021 model, but these new Camaro ZL1 cars are not the most popular and sought-after Chevy Camaro ZL1’s. The highly unsafe, powerful, and untamed 1969 ZL1 Camaro takes that crown. Most Europeans were surprised when the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE got banned on the continent for safety reasons, but if the 1969 Camaro ZL1 was made today, it would be banned worldwide. It was raw, with no safety features, and under the hood was a big block engine that G.M had made illegal for Chevrolet to include in production cars.

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The wonders of a 1969 Camaro cutaway car – Thomas A DeMauro @Hemmings

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An imaginative presentation is essential for drawing attention to a carmaker’s offerings at auto shows, special events, or dealers.

Chevrolet’s Show and Display Department took the idea to the extreme when transforming a few early-produced 1969 Camaros into “Double- Header” cars.

Several newspaper announcements from where they were scheduled to appear around the country stated, “The variety of ways a buyer can personalize Chevrolet’s popular Camaro in 1969 is dramatized in this specially built double-engined Camaro…”

ENGINE: Replacement clear acrylic (plastic) rocker covers that Mark had vacuum formed over original parts reveal the chrome-plated valvetrain items on the 350 V-8. Cutaways show the block’s water jackets, cylinder walls, pistons, and inside the heads and manifolds. White paint with a black outline highlights the areas.

An RS/SS body; an RS/SS front-end assembly with a 350-cu.in. V-8, TH350 three-speed automatic, and a highly detailed subframe and suspension; and a standard Camaro front end with the 250-cu.in. straight-six and a Powerglide two-speed automatic were attached to three platforms.

Mechanisms and electric motors worked in concert to rotate them and synchronize the tilting upward and downward of the modified-for-show body behind each altered front clip to provide the appearance of a whole car. The two front platforms also revolved 180 degrees, to better show the extensively cut away engines and transmissions with internals that turned slowly to highlight their operation

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Flashy, not fast: The 1969 American Motors Rebel Raider was a limited-run package exclusive to New York and New Jersey dealers – Thomas A. DeMauro @Hemmings

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Regional specialty car programs lured curious potential customers into dealer showrooms by promising an exclusive offering, often at a tempting price. Even if consumers didn’t ultimately buy that particular vehicle, it still got them in the door so a savvy salesperson could seize the opportunity to sell them a different one.

These packages normally consisted of a group of options added to an existing model, as well as a catchy name announced with decals or emblems, and possibly special stripes and/or paint colors to make the creation standout further.

Some of these distinctive rides went on to become widely known beyond their geographical points of sale, while others were seemingly lost to time.In 1969, New York and New Jersey-area American Motors Rambler dealers offered the “Raider.” Based on the unit-body midsize Rebel, it featured “Electric Green, Tangerine, or Blue—You’ve Never Seen” (as stated in the ad) exterior colors, a black grille, a vinyl top, a bench-seat interior, a sports-type steering wheel, an AM radio, power steering and brakes, and other small items.

We know those colors instead as Big Bad Green, Big Bad Orange, and Big Bad Blue, and our featured Raider’s original window sticker lists “Big Bad Blue.

“Given its aggressive appearance, you may be expecting to hear that the engine was a rumbling 280-hp 343, or possibly the even-more-powerful 315-hp 390, but it was actually a 200-hp 290 two-barrel V-8 with a single exhaust. It was backed by a column-shifted Borg-Warner Shift- Command automatic transmission and a 3.15:1 axle ratio. The powertrain choice made sense to keep the price reasonable and reach a broader customer base.

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How I finally came face to face with the 1969 Camaro prototype that I idolized from afar as a kid – Jeff Koch @Hemmings

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As a car-crazy boy growing up in suburban New Jersey in the mid-to-late 1970s, there were few places I could access in order to sate my desire to read about (and look at pictures of) cars. I didn’t get out of the house much, and there wasn’t a ton of extra spending money for magazines, so my school library was my outlet. From grades 2-6, I had Car of the Year: 1895-1970 by Henry B. Lent on near-permanent loan; over a spate of 18 months my name appeared on every line on the checkout card tucked into the manilla pouch on the inside back cover.

I think I even asked for a copy of it once for Christmas; in those pre-Amazon days, finding a copy for sale was nigh-on impossible, and it never arrived.For me, in my single-digit age bracket, it was an enthralling read. Every spread gave some history on a particularly significant car of the season.

On the left-hand page was a black-and-white photo of the car in question, often provided by a manufacturer, or a local historical society. On the right, a few hundred words that explained the car’s significance and put it in some context; the text was breezy and didn’t get bogged down in minutia. It was enough of a part of my childhood that I bought a copy online for cheap just a few years ago—an ex-library copy, just like the one I remembered growing up in the ’70s.

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WATCH THIS: when NASCAR was awesome – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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If you get our weekly Hemmings Muscle Machines newsletter, you’d see that we’re currently geeking on a certain 1940 Ford coupe hot rod, built and owned by one David Pearson. Yes, that David Pearson – the legendary stock car driver. Not only did Pearson drive one of our favorite race cars, but he drove during our favorite period of NASCAR: the late Sixties.

So, it’s fair to say that we want that ’40 coupe, but we also want to now build a fastback Torino cut to look like David Pearson’s famous Holman Moody #17 car. Ugh. Too many ideas, not enough cash on hand. But look, what kind of car nuts would we be if we didn’t have a fairly insane wishlist of cars we need to build? Tell you this much, though: we’d build a Pearson car and drive it every day for a year. Welded-up doors, cage and all. Sure, turn signals and head/taillights, but also shorty headers and even shorter pipes. The fun part would be figuring out how to run it as a commuter car without getting pulled over every 3.5 miles and kicked out of the neighborhood for firing it up before 8 a.m. every weekday.

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Restored Meadowlark Yellow 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Is The Cream Of The Crop – Brett Foote @FordAuthority

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Meadowlark Yellow 1969 Ford Mustang

Some early Ford Mustang variants, like the Boss 429, were produced in scant numbers and command big bucks today. The 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 most certainly isn’t one of them, as over 70,000 people checked that particular box in that particular model year.

That’s impressive for a car that was one of six performance Mustang variants in 1969, and this gorgeous Meadowlark Yellow example that was recently sold by LaFontaine Automotive is a good example of why it was so popular.

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